Google today announced that Google Web History is available in the UK.
Google Web History now allows UK users with a Google log-in to quickly return to websites they have visited in the past. They can also edit or delete items they want removed from their web history, to create a kind of personal internet.
Google says it is keen to localise search to give people more relevant results. The company hopes that by using Google Web History users will receive more personalised, targeted results from searches.
The theory goes that if someone’s web history shows that they are more interested in computers than HR or law enforcement then when they search for 'PC', Google will rank computers higher than political correctness or the police.
Google Web History enables users to edit, pause or delete search queries and websites they wish to keep private. The service is an opt-in for users with an existing Google log-in, and users can opt out of Web History at any time.
At this stage Google isn't saying whether Web History functionality will be rolled out to all search users in the future. Some observers have suggested that Web History may be a way of testing the water over data privacy concerns, using a cohort of people who are already happy for Google to host their email.
To use Web History, users must opt in to the service by signing up for a Google account and must enable the PageRank feature of the Google Toolbar. Toolbar, which is integrated into the browser, helps Google match the pages people visit with their Google account. Users already signed up to Search History will notice that Google has changed the name to Web History to reflect this new functionality.
Google engineer Sep Kamvar said: “This new feature, which replaces Search History, lets you look back in time and revisit old sites - searching through all the pages you’ve seen in the past. It’s part of our wider personalised search initiative to give people who opt in better results and more control”.